Suggested bruxism treatment (teeth grinding) includes behavioral therapies and using mouth splints or oral devices.
Extended bruxing can lead to a number of serious problems. Bruxism without treatment can permanently damage and destroy your teeth. When left untreated, moderate to severe sleep bruxism can produce jaw pain known as TMD pain, headaches, fractured and worn teeth and gum recession. Alternative treatments, such as muscle relaxation exercises and sleep hygiene measures, can also help patients manage their symptoms.
Over the counter mouth guards are available to buy. However, they do not fit as well as one made by your dentist and offer less protection. A night guard (also known as an mouth splint, occlusal splint, or bite plate) is made from harder plastic and fits precisely over your upper or lower teeth.
Professional night guards tend to last for years, whereas over the counter mouth guards usually don’t last very long. A night guard is worn during sleep to prevent tooth damage caused by grinding and to alleviate jaw and muscle pain. The night guard provides a protective barrier between your teeth. Plus, the guard disperses the forces of bruxism to prevent damage.
It is imperative that your doctor rules out sleep apnea as a cause of bruxism before a night guard is made. Bruxism can come about because of a patient’s sleep apnea. If a night guard is used in a patient that has sleep apnea, the apnea events can get worse.